Why Should I Have My Masonry Chimney Swept?
When it comes to masonry chimneys, cleanliness is highly important. Why? Here are the two words that encapsulate the most obvious reasons: performance and safety.
Your chimney works via draft, with a difference in pressure (between the cooler air outside the chimney and the hotter air rising in the chimney) making the byproducts from your fire rise up and out. Each chimney should be designed with parts installed and sized to make that work correctly, but sometimes things can alter the efficiency — a flue that’s shrunken down with thick layers of creosote, for instance, isn’t going to draw and perform the way it should. At best, you’ll end up with smelly smoke coming into your living area. Worse, you can end up with an increased risk of fire and even structural chimney damage.
Creosote is highly combustible, so performance and safety tend to work in tandem. If gases and heat aren’t properly venting because of creosote build-up, you end up with a higher probability that the creosote will ignite. And even when you’re not considering the possibility of a chimney fire, there are important safety issues to think about: Your fire is producing toxic gases, including carbon monoxide, that your chimney is tasked with containing and removing. A poorly venting chimney may not be properly removing those gases from the home, but may instead be leaking them back into your air supply.
A clean, professionally swept chimney, on the other hand, offers better performance, and with it, higher levels of safety.
Scheduling Your Chimney Cleaning
The Chimney Safety Institute of America (CSIA) recommends that masonry chimneys be swept once deposits in the flue develop to a thickness of 1/8 of an inch. With average use, that usually ends up being around once a year. But the CSIA and National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) also indicate that an annual chimney inspection is a key part of maintaining the levels of safety and performance you expect and need from your chimney, and a professional cleaning is key to providing a proper chimney inspection. Here at Old Hat Chimney Services, our technicians perform a standard Level 1 inspection with every chimney sweeping job for this very reason.
If it’s been a year since your last sweeping and inspection, it’s time to schedule an appointment. You’ll have a better-functioning chimney, and welcome peace of mind.
Is it time to have your masonry chimney swept? Give Old Hat Chimney Service a call at 770-529-2654 to schedule an appointment with our CSIA-certified technicians!